Twitter to launch subscription service, Hasbro rebrands ‘Potato Head’ for gender inclusivity, and Andrew Cuomo seeks PR help

Also: An interactive map of ‘The Office’ to help ease WFH woes, Oreo racks up mentions after standing for transgender people, Best Buy lays off 5,000 employees, and more.

Hasbro rebrands ‘Potato Head’ toys to be gender inclusive

Hello, communicators:

If you’re missing the sounds and interactions of a traditional office setting as you work from home, machine learning engineer Sudharshan recreated a virtual map of NBC’s “The Office,” which offers users the option to listen to ambient noise or sound clips from the show:

Here are today’s top stories:

Twitter to launch subscription service, communities

The social media platform announced two huge upcoming features in its investors meeting on Thursday, and the hashtag #RIPTwitter continues to trend as users lash out at the company becoming a pay-to-play platform.

The first feature is called “Super Follow,” and is Twitter’s first paid product—aside from its advertising offerings.

TechCrunch reported:

Screenshots shared by Twitter showcase a feature that allows Twitter users to subscribe to their favorite creators for a monthly price (one screenshot details a $4.99 per month cost) and earn certain subscriber-only perks, including things like “exclusive content,” “subscriber-only newsletters,” “community access,” “deals & discounts,” and a “supporter badge” for subscribers. Creators in the program will also be able to paywall certain media they share, including tweets, fleets and chats they organize in Twitter’s Clubhouse competitor Spaces.

The second feature is called “Communities,” and seemingly aims to take on Facebook’s Groups:

The Verge reported:

People can create and join groups around specific interests—like cats or plants, Twitter suggests—allowing them to see more tweets focused on those topics. Groups have been a huge success for Facebook (and a huge moderation problem, too), and they could be a particularly helpful tool on Twitter, since the service’s open-ended nature can make it difficult for new users to get started on the platform.

Why it’s important: Both upcoming features will help Twitter reach its goal to “more than double” its total annual revenue of $3.7 billion in 2020, as it aims to make more than $7.5 billion in 2023. “Twitter shares rallied to new highs after the announcement, rising more than 3% despite the broader tech sector suffering its worst trading day since October,” CNBC reported.

Communicators should start preparing now for Twitter’s future landscape. That includes creating holistic content and social media strategies that incorporate your organization’s owned assets—namely, your websites, blogs and newsrooms—into your online engagement efforts. This will help protect your digital content and efforts as additional social media platforms charge for content, expanded reach and more. Don’t put all your content eggs in a social media basket that you don’t own.


SOCIAL BUZZ

Oreo is grabbing attention for a three-word tweet published on Thursday:

As Oreo continues to trend on Twitter, reactions to the brand’s tweet are mixed.

Some people, including strategic communications pro Scott Monty, applauded the move and pointed to previous inclusion efforts, including a 2012 pride tweet, from Oreo:

Others, including Phil Berry and Jack Mayor, highlighted that moves like Oreo’s can drive interaction and boost advertising, but can also feel inauthentic when not tied to relevant and meaningful actions:

What do you think of Oreo’s tweet? Share your thoughts with us under the #DailyScoop hashtag.

Gov. Cuomo looks for PR help 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is looking for a new PR pro to clean up his image—as a recent employment ad states that his office seeks a “senior communications lead for strategy and messaging.”

Yahoo News’ White House correspondent, Hunter Walker, shared a screenshot of the job listing:

The listing comes in the wake of a flurry of negative press surrounding Cuomo, as allegations came to light that the governor forced nursing homes to accept patients who tested positive for COVID-19  and then hid data about residents’ deaths in COVID-19 reporting.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is also calling for an investigation into Cuomo’s actions after former staffers accused the governor of sexual misconduct, compounding the damage to Cuomo’s reputation and image.

The Washington Post’s recent headline reads, “Andrew Cuomo, once touted as the ‘gold standard,’ finds his brand tarnished by multiple crises.”


CRISIS LEADERSHIP NETWORK

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MEASURED THOUGHTS

Reporting your organization’s and client’s accomplishments is a common task for communicators looking to increase brand buzz and more.

Check out how artist Mashall Mathers and Spotify showcased the rapper’s accomplishments, including “Lose Yourself” racking up more than 1 billion views on the streaming service:

Using data and analytics to visually tell stories is common for the streaming platform. A look through Spotify’s @SpotifyCharts Twitter handle showcases song debuts, top albums and more:

Consider the ways you too can put data and analytics to use in telling more compelling stories about your organizations and its products and services.

Hasbro rebrands ‘Potato Head’ toys to be gender inclusive

 The toy company is removing the “Mr.” from its iconic “Mr. Potato Head” brand to celebrate “the many faces of families allowing kids to imagine and create their own Potato Head family.” A video within the press release calls the rebrand “a modern look for modern families,” adding, “there’s no wrong way to play.”

Both the video and product images feature same-sex partnerships alongside the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head paring:

Hasbro rebrands ‘Potato Head’ toys to be gender inclusive

Image courtesy of Hasbro.

Hasbro reminded consumers that the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” characters aren’t disappearing, but rather, the Potato Head line will offer more inclusive options:

Fast Company reported:

On the surface, it may seem like a subtle shift, but it is designed to break away from traditional gender norms, particularly when it comes to creating Potato Head families—how toddlers frequently play with the toy, according to Hasbro’s research. But starting this fall, when the new brand is unveiled, kids will have a blank slate to create same-sex families or single-parent families. It’s a prime example of the way heritage toy brands are evolving to stay relevant in the 21st century.

Kathrin Belliveau, Hasbro’s senior vice president and chief purpose officer, said in an investor meeting:

Exceptional brands and content are critical, but at Hasbro, we demand even mmore of ourselves, as do our stakeholders. Through our immersive storytelling, we are part of the fabric of our society. And, wee are being evaluated for “how” we work, and “why” wee exist, just as much as we are for “what” we produce.

Why it matters: Hasbro’s move highlights the positive PR that DE&I efforts can bring to your organization’s reputation—along with helping boost the bottom line. You can take a nod from the toy company and evaluate ways to make your products, services, campaigns and content more inclusive. Don’t wait to be called to the mat on a lack of action or calls to remove offensive names and imagery. Get ahead of the narrative and affect positive change by evaluating your organization’s efforts honestly, without delay.


DOWNLOAD EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH

Where communications fits in an organization is a crucial element of positioning communicators to champion important campaigns, protect reputation and branding, drive key messages and influence top-level strategies.

Are your PR and internal communications teams in sync, or do you place communications and marketing together? How does your organization view its communications function—and are you working on breaking down silos for collaborated, concentrated efforts?

Take a look at how several communicators fit within their organizational workflows with our exclusive case study.

via GIPHY

Especially as organizations adjust to remote, dispersed and hybrid workplaces during COVID-19 and prepare for the future of work, considering where your communications team sits within your organization’s flow charts can affect leadership efforts and help you successfully execute campaigns and initiatives.

Download our whitepaper here.

Best Buy announces layoffs, store closures

Best Buy laid off 5,000 employees as it focuses on e-commerce instead of in-store sales. The electronics retailer will instead add roughly 2,000 part-time positions aimed at fulfilling online orders and adjusting to its new business model. The company also announced that it closed 20 of its locations annually for the past two years, and expects to shut the doors of even more in 2021.

CNN Business reported:

Best Buy (BBY) expects 40% of its sales to come from online purchases this year, up from 19% two years ago, and the company said it needed to alter its workforce in response to this shift.

CEO Corie Barry told analysts Thursday that starting earlier this month, Best Buy had been adjusting the mix of full-time and part-time employees in stores, due to “having too many full-time and not enough part-time employees.”

Regardless of whether you’re in a similar position to Best Buy, many communicators will have to help manage organizational transformations, realignments and layoffs into 2021. This can prove tricky, especially while also focusing on change management priorities surrounding remote workplaces. Communicate early, often and transparently to keep employee trust high.


WHAT YOU SAID

We asked how much your communications role is involved with marketing strategies, and 39% of you said it’s part of your title or role, while 26% of you collaborate regularly with your marketing colleagues. Roughly 26% of you said your focus is more on PR or internal communications, and nearly 9% of you said your position is  separate from marketing:

Is there question you’d like to see asked? Please let us know under the #DailyScoop hashtag!


SOUNDING BOARD

Have you taken a stand on social justice issues this year, similar to recent moves by Oreo, Hasbro and more?

Weigh in below or on Twitter, under the hashtag #DailyScoop, and we’ll share your insights in Monday’s roundup.

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COMMENT

One Response to “Twitter to launch subscription service, Hasbro rebrands ‘Potato Head’ for gender inclusivity, and Andrew Cuomo seeks PR help”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    We in PR can learn from seeing how Cuomo is suffering from the same classic PR problems as Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other world leaders: the Big Accusation getting media coverage is not accompanied by the Big Truth of unavoidability and the Big Bottom Line of how the public benefits.

    THE BIG ACCUSATION against Cuomo is that he called it hospital deaths when nursing home residents died in a hospital. Bin Salman’s rap is that his security people killed Khashoggi, a fugitive who admitted getting out of Saudi Arabia to avoid arrest.

    THE BIG TRUTH is that it’s not unusual for governments to kill fugitives. John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd were killed by police. Mohammed bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were killed by order of American presidents. American drones often kill Arab activists in their own homes along with their wives and children. No trial, no presumption of innocence, most countries kill dangerous fugitives.

    THE BIG BOTTOM LINE is that despite all the accusations, Cuomo, bin Salman
    and other leaders have been marvelous for the economy, women’s rights, minority rights and public safety against murders from inside the country and outside and against disease.

    THE PR NEED is to show how Cuomo has helped the voters of New York and all the other 49 states. Bin Salman, by far America’s biggest ally among Arab rulers, has helped prevent price-gauging of Americans who use gasoline and oil, and threats from Iran’s nuclear ambitions which could kill millions of Americans. The Saudi’s biggest airport has been one of America’s biggest air force bases worldwide.

    The Cuomo situation–like that of bin Salman, Angela Merkel, Canada’s prime minister and industrial leaders—is that as Shakespeare had Marc Antony say, “the evil men do lives after them but the good is often interred with the bones.”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    A big truth not mentioned above is that thousands of nursing home residents said by Cuomo to have died in hospitals really DID die in hospitals. Telling this like it is can be called more correct than would saying that they died in their nursing homes. It’s also correct that when fugitives are killed by police, drones or security forces, the killing is a shame but fugitives they were. They did what they did although I’m personally against killing fugitives or anyone else except in war.

    My information on Khashoggi comes from Google which leads us to articles BY Khashoggi that he wrote for The Washington Post, and ABOUT Khashoggi written by leading American newspapers.